Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.

Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.

By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.

As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.

But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.

While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.

The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...

Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.

And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Womens Longines 9ct Gold Watch Vintage 1961 - Fully Working Calibre 19.4Longines Master Collection L2.628.4 Automatic Mens Watch Longines Hydro Conquest L3.695.4 Diver L633.5 Eta 2824-2 Automatic 41mmLongines Avigation Special Series L2.629.4 Swiss 40mm Chronograph Watch Ju181Vintage Longines Compax Triple Chronograph Day Date Large Case 42mm Working FineLongines Swiss Mens L36874566 Automatic Conquest Stainless Steel Bracelet WatchVintage Mens Watch, Watches Longines Silver 0.800 Masonic Symbols, Freemasonry,Longines Vintage Men's Wrist Watch Stainless Steel Skeleton Mens Luxury WatchesLongines Les Grandes Classiques Presence Gold-tone Automatic Mens Watch L46782Unworn Longines Conquest Heritage Automatic Black Dial Mens 35mm Watch SwissLongines Men's L3.640.4.hydro Conquest Black Dial WatchMens Longines Watch Classic Vintage Swiss Made 1960s -calibre: 30l -17 Jewels Very Fine Vintage 18k Gold Longines Flagship 380 Cal 27j Automatic WristwatchLongines Hydroconquest Automatic Chronograph Ref. L3.696.4.59.6 Mens WatchLongines 18k Solid Gold Large Dial 37mm Fancy Tear Lugs Hand Wind Stunning!!!!!!Vintage Longines Men's Wrist Watch Art Deco Swiss Men Silver Mens Luxury WatchesLongines Conquest Automatic L3.676.4Mens Pristine Original 1960s Longines Wittnauer Geneve Date 17j Swiss S/s WatchVintage Military Manual Winding "fixed Pin" Longines Wrist Watch1955 Vintage Longines W/ Flared Sides Men's Wristwatch - Excellent Longines Hydro Conquest L3.642.4 41mm Diver L633.5 Eta 2824-2 Automatic Antique Mens Watch Longines Vintage Movement " White Passion " Wristwatches Longines Antique Watch Wonderland Skeleton Vintage Men Movement 1908 !Heavy Large Longines Ultra Chron Automatic Vintage 1970s Mens Watch To Restore1950's Longines 14k Solid Yellow Gold Winding Vintage 17 JewelsVintage Longines Quartz Gold Plated Cal.l160.2 Date Dress Men's WatchVintage Longines Mystery Dial Manual Wind Watch Longines Calibre 12.68z Gents Jumbo Size Gents Watch C1958-rare Piece-serviced!Wittnauer By Longines Rare Mid Size Up & Down Chronograph Military Venus 170!!Vintage Longines Roman Numeral Automatic Swiss Solid 14k Gold Case Men's Watch1956 Large Gents 9k Gold Longines 12.68zs In Excellent ConditionVintage Longines Automatic Salesman SampleLongines Presence Gold Plated Quartz Ladies Vintage Swiss Watch Longines Watch 1933 18kt Gold, Cal 10.85m (weems Size), CollectorsLongines Flagship Automtaic Mens Swiss Watch Ref L4.774.4 Cal L619.2Fantastic Vintage Ss Longines Conquest Date 19j Cal. 19 Asd Automatic WristwatchVintage Stainless Steel Longines Ultra-chron WatchLongines Admiral Hf Mechanical Cal.6952Vintage Original Longines Swiss 10k Gold Filled Mechanical Wrist Watch *running*Fine 1940's Vintage Solid 9 Carat Gold Longines Manual Wind Gentleman's Watch.Rare Vintage Longines Wwi Military Staniless Steel Trench Wrist WatchVintage Longines Concuest Automatic 25 J. Ref. 6651 28.800 Bph Swiss Mens WatchVintage Mens Watch Longines Antique Movement " Golden Host " Gold Plated Longines Mens Watch Sport Wing Collection Of 1996. Beautiful Blue DialRare Longines Antique Classic Collector's Watch From 1958 - Caliber 12.68zsAuthentic Longines Flagship Date White Dial Gold Plated Quartz Mens Wrist WatchLongines Electronic Swiss Big Men's 13j Wristwatch Runs GreatAuthentic Longines Conquest Date White Dial Gold Plated Quartz Mens WatchLongines Vintae Gf 5 Star Admiral Automatic Super Dial Clean Runner1930's Vintage Longines "art Deco" Curved S/s Manual-winding Cal.947nn "rare"Longines Five Star Admiral Vintage Automatic Day/date NrVintage Longines 14k White Gold & Diamonds Watch Ladies Wind Nice Gemex Band A Vintage Longines Gold Plated Manual Wind Wristwatch, Gwo.Classic 1962 Vintage Men's Longines Orig Silver Dial St/steel 370 Runs Well NiceLongines Dolce Vita Silver Dial Diamond Ladies Ref#l5.502.0 WristwatchVintage Longines 14k White Gold Diamond 17j Woman's Wristwatch &band Art DecoLongines 14k White Gold & Diamond Ladies Cocktail Bracelet Clasp WatchVintage 1950s Longines 17 Jewels Cal. 23z Mechanical Movement Men`s Watch RunsLongines Dolce Vita Chronograph Mens Swiss Watch Ref L5.677.4.53.6 Longines Conquest Swiss Made C2000 Mens 34mm Quartz Stainless Steel Watch Ma4